Rangers defeat Royals after no collision at home plate

1 Comment

Seriously, that’s why they won.

In a 6-6 game in the ninth, Mike Napoli tried to score all of the way from first on an Elvis Andrus single to right.  The relay from Mitch Maier to Eric Hosmer to Brayan Pena got to the plate in plenty of time.

In fact, there was so much time that Pena assumed Napoli would try to bowl him over in his only home of scoring (Click here to see the play).

Instead, Napoli slid in under an out-of-position Pena and home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook surprisingly made the correct call.  Pena’s tag came way up the body on Napoli’s arm after Napoli it looked like both of Napoli’s feet had already touched home plate.

The shocking ending could overshadow what would have been the prime storyline for the game: more struggles from both Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria.  Feliz, who entered a tie game in the top of the ninth, gave up an unearned run and nearly got charged with a loss to add to his three blown saves in four appearances against the Royals this season.

Soria, though, let him off the hook.  He gave up a game-tying homer to Nelson Cruz to start the bottom of the ninth.  Two more hits followed, but it looked like Soria would escape with the score tied when Napoli attempted to score.  Instead, he was charged with both the blown save and the loss.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

Getty Images
2 Comments

Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

Getty Images
3 Comments

David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.